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Wednesday Bird Droppings: Changes to minor leagues sweeping across baseball

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It was inevitable, but now we are starting to see how those expected changes actually unfold.

2020 Major League Baseball Draft Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Good morning Birdland,

The wheels have been in motion for a while now, but now teams are starting to officially cut ties with some of their minor league affiliates.

The Mets promoted the short-season Brooklyn Cyclones to full-season status while severing ties with the South Atlantic League’s Columbia Fireflies. The Yankees dropped four teams (Staten Island Yankees, Trenton Thunder, Charleston RiverDogs and Pulaski Yankees) while also adding the Hudson Valley Renegades as a High-A affiliate and the Somerset Patriots as their Double-A team. Finally, the Twins ended their relationship with the Rochester Red Wings as their Triple-A affiliate but have not announced a replacement.

MLB wants to contract their minor league system by approximately 25%. That means there are a lot more unfortunate announcements to come this offseason, and they are likely to come soon.

Links & Notes

Orioles affiliates brace for next steps in minor league contraction in wake of pandemic | The Baltimore Sun
The Orioles have not made any formal announcements just yet, but you should be prepared to hear that the Frederick Keys will no longer be affiliated with the O’s. In their place, the Aberdeen IronBirds are expected to take on full-season status as a High-A affiliate. Again, that is not final, just the expectation.

How Rylan Bannon Could Help the 2021 Orioles | Baltimore Sports and Life
Bannon is an intriguing talent that is in position to get some time in the big leagues in 2021. There is a real possibility that the O’s look to move from both Rio Ruiz and Hanser Alberto this offseason. Should that happen Bannon would be a logical replacement at either second or third base.

The business side of Mancini’s attempts to return in 2021 | School of Roch
Trey Mancini makes the Orioles a better team, and if he is healthy he can expect to start just about every day. But since the team is seemingly dedicated to keeping Chris Davis on their roster, it’s not like they will have to go find a first baseman if Mancini isn’t quite ready for Opening Day.

Orioles Raise More Than $80,000 Through F16HT T-Shirt Sales | MLB.com
Literally wearing one of those shirts as I type this. I bought it in both orange and grey. Good stuff.

Ripken receives award in tribute to Gehrig | Orioles.com
This is a fitting honor for the Iron Man during a year in which he overcame a private battle with prostate cancer.

Orioles birthday

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

Just two Orioles were born on this day. J.R. House, a backup catcher for 19 games with the 2007 O’s, turns 41 today. Ike Delock, a right-handed pitcher that appeared in seven games with the 1963 Birds, celebrates his 91st birthday.

Orioles history

1953 - Jimmie Dykes is named the manager of the Baltimore Orioles for the franchise’s first season following a move from St. Louis.

1970 - Boog Powell is named the Most Valuable Player in the American League following a season in which he batted .297 with 35 home runs.

1982 - The Orioles have a new manager for the first time since 1968. Joe Altobelli takes over for the retiring Earl Weaver.

2014 - Buck Showalter is named American League Manager of the Year after guiding the Orioles to an AL East crown and a spot in the ALCS.